The Blue Ridge Parkway winding through Virginia and North Carolina is one of my favorite National Park Units. Having said that there is really nothing spectacular that stands out, it does not have the wildlife of a Yellowstone, the awesome natural features of a Arches or Grand Canyon and the Eastern mountains pale in comparison to Yosemite or Grand Tetons. It is the feeling of calm and relaxation you get from a charming country drive that is the highlight. As a boy my family and I would take scenic drives as often as we could. These drives through the woods and rural landscapes are cherished memories. I have visited the parkway many times driving the entire 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park to Great Smokey Mountains National Park and have also dipped into different sections at different locations. This post will not be a sequential point to point summary but an overview of some of the highlights. The pictures are from all of these trips spanning some thirty years.
There are pull outs and overlooks all along the route to take in the bucolic scenery:
There are plenty of places to stop for a picnic, we would just grab a sandwich while enjoying one of the overlooks.
If you like hiking or just a pleasant stroll with trails ranging from short walks to long distance hikes with the Appalachian Trail crossing the parkway twice.
Nature is complimented along your drive with some historic buildings that fit perfectly into the natural landscapes.